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Puerto Rico!!!

May 2, 2011

Allo Loves!

I would like to apologize for the constant back-and-forth of my last few posts. One day it’s, “I feel so strong, ED’s got nothing on me,” the next it’s, “Every day is a fight, and ED won’t shut up,” and then it’s back to the positive again. I’m pleased that yesterday and today have been better.

Before ballet yesterday, ED tried very hard to convince me that eating only a sandwich and an apple was sufficient for lunch. He also tried explaining why I needed to pick the smallest apple I could find in my fridge. Thankfully, I caught myself and ED’s stupid BS in time. I had walked over the fridge to swap a larger apple for the smaller one. I bent over to put the larger apple back (we keep our apples in the bottom drawer), but stopped dead in my tracks. A thought hit me, and I stood up. Standing alone in my kitchen, I said to myself out loud, “No, take the bigger apple. I know you don’t want it, but just take it, even if it’s for no other reason than to prove to ED that he won’t win.” And so I walked back to the sink with the larger apple in hand.

During class, about 10 minutes before lunch break, I snapped out of the ED haze. I understood  just how sneaky ED could be when I realized I only had a sandwich and apple for my entire lunch. What is that, about 370 calories? That’s not even a lunch, that is a snack my friends! 370 calories total for a girl who danced about 5.5 hours?!?!?! No, no, no, that is soooo not ok. As class ended I was presented with another choice. I knew I could eat my miniscule lunch and let ED win, which would be a step backwards, or I could go to the supermarket next to my studio and buy more food. 10 minutes later I was back up in the studio with a squeeze pack of PB&Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams and another 180 calories to my lunch. 550 calories? Yes, that’s much better!

I do just want to add 2 side notes. First of all, I still do not count calories. I just figured out the above calorie totals as I was typing this post; I didn’t calculate as I was preparing it yesterday. I do not know any amount for certain and am just estimating numbers. I honestly have no desire whatsoever count calories. It is such a chore and I never want to go back to that. However, on the rare occasion, I will try to guesstimate my intake for the day, just to be 100% certain I’ve eaten enough. But I never know for certain the exact number, nor do I want to know.

The second side note is about the sandwich I ate. I made a double batch of fudgie but added enough water to make it a little thinner than peanut butter. I spread it on one piece of toasted ezekiel bread and spread the other side with strawberry jam. Chocolate covered strawberry sandwich anyone?

Ok, so  let’s move on to a new – and happier – subject. I know I am extremely late with this, but how about I do my Puerto Rico vacation recap?

The path leading up to the beach.


Our view of the beach!


Sitting in my beach chair, looking up at the sky!


At the resort, there wasn’t one large building. Instead, there were about 25 or so smaller bungalows, each with 12 rooms. This wasn’t ours, but they all looked the same.


I found a coconut that I was extremely excited about!


The view from the balcony of our room.


For lunch on the first day, we just stayed at the resort. My mom ordered a side of yuca fries and I got an order of tostones (fried green plantains) and steamed carrots. I ate most of the tostones and a few fries, as well as some of the mayo-based dipping sauce. Just thinking about it shocks me. I ate fried food!! Not fried dessert (doughnuts), but actual food. Yay! Too bad I got a really bad stomach ache about an hour later. I guess my body doesn’t handle it very well. But who cares? I ate it and that’s what matters. Take that ED!


View from the cafe.


I found another coconut a few days later, cracked it open on a rock and ate it. Mmm! It doesn’t get much fresher than that.


One of the days we were there, we drove to Old San Juan.

Most of the buildings were cute and colorful like these.


A pigeon park, with cubby-holes for the birds.


The Old San Juan castle/fort. As you can see, there were tons of people all over that field. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but most of the families there were flying kites, which, if you look closely, you can see in the air.


Entrance to the fort.


There was a balcony in the girl’s bathroom. So naturally, we had to take a picture.


Old cannon balls!


77 steep, railing-less stairs we had to go down to get to the 3rd floor. (The main entrance is on the 4th floor)


After walking around in the castle for a bit, we got lunch from an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. I ordered baked grouper which came with white rice and beans (which were in a separate bowl), sweet plantains (love!), and a tiny (and sorry-looking) salad. It was pretty yummy and actually didn’t upset my stomach. 🙂


We spent one morning in El Yunque National Forest.

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it a bit. The forest was really a bunch of mountains, and we hiked for about 3 hours which I found very tiring. To me at least, the forest wasn’t special either…it was quite boring actually. That was probably the worst day of vacation for me….Oh well, as C put it, “It was an adventure.”

Mommy ahead of me on the trail.


View from an observation tower. Sorry for the dark picture. It was cloudy in the mountains.


This is basically what the entire forest looked like…bo-ring!


One of the only flowers I saw the whole time!


Little lizard!


Back at the resort:

Not so little lizard! 🙂 At the resort, there were iguanas roaming around everywhere, the same way there are squirrels here at home.


On the last day of vacation, we just stayed at the resort. My mom and I spent almost the whole day on the beach!

Reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I’m halfway through Prisoner of Azkaban at the moment.


Really I just love this picture because of my right leg. Yay for muscle!!! 



And then it was time to go home.

View from the airplane.


Like I said before, this wasn’t my favorite vacation and I was pretty happy to leave. It’s definitely not a destination I’d choose to go back to. But hey, I’m not complaining. The hotel and sunshine were amazing, the beach was beautiful, and I loved hearing Spanish everywhere! 🙂



Measuring/calorie counting, exchanges, or intuitive eating?

I never used exchanges. My dietician simply told me how many calories to eat per day, and I preferred that approach. I chose to start with 2,400 calories and gained rapidly at first. When I stopped gaining, she told me to increase to 2,600, then 2,900, then 3,000. When I reached my goal weight, I finally felt ready for intuitive eating, and I’m glad I was because the constant measuring was so tiring.

Have you done much traveling? What was your favorite destination?

I’ve been to 15 countries including the USA. Paris, France was my favorite, hands down. I’ve been twice and plan to move there as soon as I can!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2011 3:32 pm

    AH LOVE THESE PHOTOS!!!! girl you look AMAZING- you have such a naturally gorgeous slim body- you should be so proud of what yo momma gave you!!
    umm i love how you made a sammie with fudgies – that just made my day 🙂
    Ive done SO much traveling!! growing up in Europe means Ive been to over 40 countries!!

  2. May 2, 2011 4:51 pm

    Don’t apologize Bryana, that’s how recovery is. Some days we feel like the strongest person in the Universe and that ED don’t stand a chance, then the next day we feel so small and weak.
    I am really REALLY proud of you for fighting your way through the challenges you’ve faced recently. You did the exact right thing by increasing your lunch. You need that food, my friend. Without it your body will once again be eaten up by destructive forces, and you deserve life and health. To continue live the life you’ve worked so hard for you have to keep up with both meals and snacks. You are an active person and that means you need extra energy to maintain your physical and mental health.

    You know I love the picture of you and the coconut, haha! It makes me smile 🙂 I’m glad you had a good time, and be very proud of the fact that you were able to enjoy it – that is an expression of how far you’ve comed.

    I don’t count calories, nor do I do exchanges. I simply do as my nutrionist tells me. If she says four slices of cheese on top of Philadelphia on bread, then four slices it is. It’s really liberating to now know how many calories I’m consuming. All I know is how amazing my body feels when eating this amount ^^

    Stay strong – you are an amazing person.

  3. Lucy permalink
    May 2, 2011 7:56 pm

    Love the pictures! Why did you go to Puerto Rico?

    You look great, absolutely beautiful!

    Random question, but what ethnicity are you??

    • May 2, 2011 8:15 pm

      Hey Lucy. We went to PR for vacation during spring break. As for the ethnicity question, my mom is Caucasian and my dad is African-American. So I’m half and half. 🙂

  4. May 2, 2011 9:37 pm

    No need to apologize for being back-and-forth- that’s what recovery is, a series of ups and downs. 🙂 Happens to all of us.
    I’m glad that things have been better lately, and I am so proud of you for not listening to ED yesterday! You’re right- every time we listen to ED it’s a step backwards, and every time we go against ED it brings us one step closer to leaving ED in the past. I’m really impressed how you are able to tell the difference between “ED thoughts” and “healthy thoughts”- it sounds like you’ve gotten really good at telling ED to shut the F up, which is awesome! At times it is difficult for me to tell the difference between my thoughts and the thoughts of my ED, so you definitely inspire me in this way. 🙂
    The pics of Puerto Rico are gorgeous, and you look amazing! That’s so cool that you’ve been to 15 countries! I’ve only been to 4- US, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Canada.
    Thanks for your comments on my last post on religion, by the way- it was great to hear your perspective! I’m glad that someone commented with a different perspective from mine- that was what I hoped people would feel comfortable enough to do.
    Keep up the awesome work, girly ❤

  5. May 2, 2011 9:55 pm

    You are absolutely gorgeous!! I just wanted to tell you that. Standing up to Ed is really awesome and I admire you a lot for that. Seeing those pictures of old San Juan reminded me of y vacation there pre Ed. It gave me a lot of motivation to get back to how happy i was then. Thank you for that.
    Again, you are beautiful! I am very jealous!
    Keep blogging, I love it!

  6. May 3, 2011 4:18 am

    I’m reading the Chamber of Secrets at the moment – gotta get through them all again before the film!
    You really are very gorgeous. Those pictures are absolutely lovely. And the ballet/lunch story was really good to hear. Inspiring, you know?
    I’ve only ever been overseas once. To Japan – it was amazing, and so so fun. It was a school based trip, and we stayed with host families and everything. It was probably one of the best times I’ve ever had. And the food! It was when I was really just starting to ditch ED, and we ate so much amazing food over there – it was great to just not worry about calories or anything, and just enjoy…

  7. May 3, 2011 7:05 am

    These pictures are absolutely stunning! You look amazing 🙂

    When I hit the “healthy weight” marker, I went through the same thoughts as you. I didn’t think that I deserved to eat as much as I used to because it was no longer necessary for me to gain so I didn’t. But when I started to eat less, I didn’t lose weight, but my energy levels declined and I started to become incredibly grouchy. It wasn’t until I read the book “intuitive eating” by evelyn tribole and the other lady that my eyes really opened. Have you had a look at this book? I would highly recommend it for you at this point.


  8. May 3, 2011 9:50 am

    You look amazing! You are so beautiful!

    Puerto Rico look so pretty and warm!

    I love to travel too! I really love Southern Italy and Greece but don’t reckon I could live there! You want to live in France? That’s so exciting! I loved it when I lived there! The bread is enough of a reason! 😉 Do you know where you want to live??? 🙂

  9. May 3, 2011 3:17 pm

    ah you’re gorgeous 🙂 you look so familiar though idk its odd as i know i don’t know you…hehe im not sure why? anywho yes i’ve traveled a lot in my past 😛 not so much now apart from back and forth to uni just like another province in my country (Canada)…but i did a lot of traveling with my family. i haven’t been to that many states, just ny many times, florida i guess, chicago and california (various places within) but i’ve been to a few countries in europe and then australia, i think that’s the farthest. then like mexico and various caribbean islands…congratz on the counting thing. i used to do it constantly but i don’t really now, yet i eat similar things and control alot so deep down i know im semi counting in a sense. xox

  10. emsalot permalink
    May 3, 2011 8:26 pm

    All the pictures are so beautiful and you looked gorgeous in them! I’m sorry that ED has been louder lately, but you’ve been able to show him who is boss! I am so amazed by your strength.
    I used to count calories but when I went into an IOP program my nutritionist gave me an exchange outline, which I liked and still continue to use losely.

  11. May 5, 2011 9:56 am

    You are so beautiful Bryana! I absolutely love the pictures you took 🙂

    I am so sorry ED tagged along 😦 But I am immensely proud of you for not letting him win! You ate what YOU wanted to, enjoyed a great vacation, and most importantly, were happy 🙂 I am so happy for you!

    And as far as counting cals/exchanges, I used to do exchanges and I really liked that. It was a lot less stressful for me that cals were…

    I hope today is wonderful!


  12. May 7, 2011 4:09 pm

    Love the pictures – looks like such a beautiful vacation.

    I have a hard time eating out as well (my stomach doesn’t usually react TOO well), but I’m happy you were able to defy your ED and try some cultural foods – they look super good.

    Oh I love travelling! Staying in one country for too long is horribly boring. I guess I’m spoiled but since I grew up traveling it’s kinda in my blood 😛

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